Modelling laser propagation in atmosphere

Our group at AITC is taking part in multiple projects that involve laser propagation through atmosphere. The turbulence distorts the light as it propagates through atmosphere, which typically makes it prohibitive to use systems such as long-distance free-space optical communication without adaptive optics that can compensate the turbulence in real time. To understand the complicated physics behind such systems, we use extensive numerical simulations that model the light propagation as well as the dynamic control that is used in the compensation.

Objectives

The aim of the project is to refine our understanding of limitations in free-space optical communication and systems that project light through atmosphere using adaptive optics to pre-compensate a beam. 

Activities

The team has developed extensive numerical simulation tools to evaluate the performance of typical adaptive optics system intended for astronomical applications. The task for the successful candidate would be to refine those simulation tools to better model the systems we are currently developing. This involves implementing numerically more demanding, but physically more accurate models of light propagation through atmospheric turbulence. For more information about this potential research topic or activity, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.

Outcomes

The project will provide a large amount of simulated physical data, such as light fields at various locations and mirror surface deformations. The data will be analysed and reduced to formats that are useful for making informed decisions about the adaptive optics systems that the team will develop.